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Full text of "A history of Persia"

ui                 THE SELJUK TURKS                101
the ground, and after a pause was conducted to a throne
placed near that of the Caliph. A decree was then read,
appointing him the Viceregent of the Successor of the
Prophet and Lord of all Moslems. Seven robes of
honour and seven slaves were then bestowed upon the
Seljuk to symbolize the seven regions of the Caliphate ;
a rich brocade scented with musk was draped over his
head, surmounted by twin crowns to signify the kingship
of Arabia and Persia ; and, to complete the investiture—
the word here bears.its literal meaning—he was girded
with two swords to signify that he was ruler of the East
and of the West. Some may think that the Caliph was
merely masking his impotence by a ceremony that was
little more than mummery; but it is more reasonable
to suppose that the Seljuk chieftain did not so regard it,
but felt after the investiture that his conquests had been
legally recognized and that^his crown had been hallowed
by the religious head of Islam.
After remaining in Baghdad for about a year, during
which his niece, sister of Alp Arslan, was married to the
Caliph, Toghril continued his victorious career until in
Georgia and Iberia his hordes came into collision with
the armies of Byzantium. To quote Gibbon, " the
shepherd presumed to despatch an ambassador, or herald,
to demand the tribute and obedience of the Emperor of
Constantinople." Upon his return to Baghdad the ever-
victorious Seljuk was rewarded with the high-sounding
title of " King of the East and of the West." He
demanded a sister of the Caliph in marriage, and this
supreme honour was reluctantly granted ; but he died
before the ceremony could be completed.
Thus passed off the stage, at the age of seventy,
Rukn-u-Din, Abu Talib, Toghril Beg, the leader of a
wave of virile Turks from the East, who, although
Moslems themselves, overwhelmed the kingdoms owning
allegiance to the Caliphate. A notable personality, * he
raised his tribe from mere tenders of sheep and robbers to
become the possessors of a wide empire. Little is known
of the character of this extraordinary man, save that he
was harsh when necessary, strict in his religious observ-